FIVE Hunter greyhound identities have been hit with bans from the sport over the discovery of a mass greyhound grave at a property near Cessnock.
On Tuesday morning, Greyhound Racing NSW released the findings of an inquiry into the grave, which contained at least 99 bodies when it was uncovered at the Keinbah Trial Track in 2015.
The inquiry panel, led by former chief steward Ray Murrihy, found that licensed trainer Thomas Pullman was responsible for killing and burying “a substantial number” of the greyhounds, for reasons “other than emergency euthanasia.”
Mr Pullman, a licensed trainer, ran the operations of the track between 2009 and 2013.
He has been disqualified from the sport for 15 years after being found guilty of failure to provide veterinary attention, providing false and misleading statements, falsifying a document and engaging in conduct detrimental to the NSW Greyhound racing industry.
“In determining the penalty imposed on Mr Pullman, the GRNSW Inquiry Panel was of the view that the circumstances of the offences were of the most serious nature,” a statement released by the panel said.
Mr Pullman’s wife, Helen Pullman, was disqualified for four years after being found guilty of providing false and misleading statements and falsifying a document.
His daughter, Kayla Spliet, was disqualified for four years for failing to provide veterinary care, providing false and misleading statements and falsifying a document.
Ms Spliet’s husband, Corey Spliet, was disqualified for two years for providing false and misleading statements.
Wayne Weiss, an employee of the track, was disqualified for three years after being found guilty of providing false and misleading statements and failing to attend an inquiry.
In the statement, the panel said that the actions of all five participants were “completely unacceptable” and had “tarnished the reputation” of the industry, even thought the overwhelming majority of its members cared for the welfare of their greyhounds.
They thanked the present owner – Natina Howard – who was instrumental in bringing the evidence of the grave to light.
“The inquiry into the Keinbah Trial Track and the penalties issued is further evidence of the robust and wide-ranging reforms GRNSW has introduced since 2015,” GRNSW interim CEO John Gibbons said.
“The reforms undertaken have enabled GRNSW to effectively tackle abhorrent practices, while making significant improvements to animal welfare and to the supervision of the industry.”
The five participants disqualified have been notified about their rights of appeal.
More to come.